Iran navy commandos in China to join oil tanker rescue efforts
Navy of the Islamic Republic of Iran has dispatched a team of experts and commandos to China on Wednesday night for a heliborne operation at the site of a ship crash in the East China Sea that caused a roaring fire at an Iranian oil tanker, which has been burning since January 6.
According to Navy officer Captain Mohsen Bahrami, the team, including Navy experts and up to 12 commandos, was dispatched to the crash site for heliborne operation to save possible survivors of the tragic incident, Tasnim News Agency reported.
China will provide the Iranian military group with the necessary equipment, he added.
A lawmaker told Tasnim on Wednesday that the dispatch of the military team follows arrangements between the navies of the two countries.
Iranian oil tanker ‘Sanchi’ which collided with a Chinese freight ship in the East China Sea on Saturday is still on fire after several days.
Rescuers from China, South Korea, and Japan have been struggling to control the blaze and find survivors, if any.
The Panama-registered tanker was carrying 136,000 tons of condensate, an ultra-light crude that is highly flammable and to South Korea, equivalent to about 1 million barrels and worth about $60 million.
Bad weather at the sea has made the rescue and cleanup efforts difficult.
On Wednesday, Reuters quoted South Korea’s Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries as saying that the stricken oil tanker could burn for as long as one month.